20-two candidates met a Monday deadline to file paperwork for a spot on the ballot in the special election to succeed former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.The field of 17 Democrats and five Republicans still could be winnowed, however, as campaigns try to knock opponents off what would be a crowded Feb. 26 primary ballot in the 2nd Congressional District.
Among the final filers was former one-term U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson of Crete, who was easily defeated by Jackson in last year’s Democratic primary.
Halvorson and Joyce Washington, a management consultant who lost a 2002 primary bid for lieutenant governor and a U.S. Senate primary two years later, were among five Democrats who filed their petitions within an hour of the deadline.
The Illinois State Board of Elections will hold a lottery Tuesday to determine which of those five will get the last spot on the Democratic primary ballot. Another lottery Tuesday will determine which of the first five filers will appear atop the Democratic ballot.
On the Republican side, Lenny McAllister of Maywood, a former conservative radio host, will appear atop the GOP ballot, barring a petition challenge. Also among the Republicans running is Eric Wallace of Flossmoor, who is involved with the African American Republican Council of Illinois.
The South Side and south suburban congressional district is heavily Democratic.
The special primary elections and the April 9 special general election were called after Jackson stepped down from Congress in November after 17 years amid federal ethics investigations and a diagnosis of bipolar depression.
SEE ALSO: Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. Resigns
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